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* Posts by karlp

48 posts • joined 11 Feb 2010

Top Secret US payload launched into space successfully

karlp

Re: I wonder...

It would seem to me that if I had the ability to track a routine flight, clear on the other side of the planet, in near-as-makes-no-difference real time, I wouldn't exactly be letting on that I could do it.

Perhaps giving a couple, discrete, helpful nudges trickled out in such a way, and on such a timetable, as to not be suspicious. That is if I felt helpful - but even then, certainly not in a way that says "Here is where it is".

Note: I am not suggesting any conspiracy here, purely that if anyone did have the information, this incident, tragic as it is, wouldn't register high enough on the strategic-importance list to tip the cards.

Karl P

5
0

Europe approves common charger standard for mobe-makers

karlp

I just went through this last week.

The simple answer is unless you are doing 6 or more chargers, the cheapest thing to do is buy a power strip and plug in a whole bunch of individual chargers, and deal with the Ugly that it causes.

It seems crazy to me, but it is what it is.

The "cheapest" multi-port USB-A-Female charger which can charge anything I throw it at is the Cambironix Series8 - Which is a 350$ piece of kit. http://www.cambrionix.com/cambrionix_products/series8-very-intelligent-charging/

On the other hand, I can say the same for the 30$ Apple iPad charger, so I am "forced" to use those right now for my less than 6 charge port solutions.

I really don't understand it. I can (and do) buy top-of-the-line Medical Grade 5-thru-12V transformers up to 150W every day. For less than 75$ as an assembled, ready-to-go, listed product. Certainly someone can figure out how to make the rest of the bits for ~100$

Karl P

1
0

Parliament network prang: 'Supplier done it', no Office 365 yet

karlp

Link Speed and Duplex....

You'd be surprised the amount of "emergency" consulting work I do where the issue comes down to link speed and duplex. I can practically smell it these days.

On another note, it is kind of amazing how even now, in 2014, the sheer magnitude of multi-thousand $/£ network infrastructure equipment out there which can't auto negotiate as well as a cheap realtek NIC.

I was on a completely new build Fiber-MPLS network a few months back that had everything from Arista to Adtran, Cisco to Omitron in various places. They were having trouble all over the place, with the providers pointing to bad configs and the integrators pointing to provider problems and the local system admins wondering if this is just as good as it would be. At least half of the links had some sort of auto link speed issue or auto-MDIX issue. A day and a halve later - voila.

Of course, to most people these days suggesting that we need to manually specify link speeds and use crossover cables comes across completely foreign.

Karl P

2
0

Recommendations for private cloud software...

karlp

Two Options

First option I normally recommend is LiquidFiles. It's an on-premise VM that is an all-in large file transfer solution. Completely stand-alone, simple to use, well supported, reasonably priced. http://www.liquidfiles.net

The second option is a bit more of a creative one. There is a company called MinnowIT which makes a piece of software called Foldr for accessing Windows File Servers from mobile devices. They have dedicated iOS apps, and can interface with most any webdav client as well as having a very slick web front end. Binds to Active Directory and (very importantly) respects NTFS user permissions. You could set this system up, have a large windows server "partners" share with folders for each partner. Give highly restricted AD credentials to be used by the partners to login with that are restricted to their sub-folder. Your employees can interact with their partners by simply browsing a local mapped drive. Your partners can either use the web app, or map the webdav drive to their Windows or Mac based endpoints. Again, simple to use, well supported, reasonably priced. http://www.minnow.it

The choice between the two comes down to whether you want to manage it from AD - or not - and whether you can live without local mapped drives on the vendor/partner side.

Karl P

0
0

Apple's new iPad Mini: ALREADY set for Black Friday PRICE SLASH

karlp

This is really funny if people traded in an iPad 1 in the recent 200$ gift card offering and then held the gift card for this promotion, allowing them to effectively get an iPad mini for just a couple bucks, or an Air for 200$.

Someone didn't realize what they were doing.

1
0

AIR TIME! Our expert cosies up with the new top-end iPad

karlp

Re: Older models

iPad 2's are practically the defecto industrial and special-nice device right now.

Whether you want a solution for a self-guided museum tour, a mobile kiosk to take credit card payments, a digital sign for product advertisement or a reservation and seating utility at a restaurant - there is a good chance you will grab an iPad2.

They are still compatible with all the specialized 30 pin accessories that haven't made it to lightning yet, still perform good-enough on ios7 with non-gaming apps, and are cheap enough you don't care much about them.

The iPad Air is the first device that has finally gotten fast enough to make a meaningful difference. In fact I would sum up the iPad Air as "It's Finally Fast".

I imagine they will be around another two generations and then be phased out.

Karl P

6
0

XBOX One SHOT DEAD by Redmond following delivery blunder

karlp

Re: So no, your console is not banned

The system was auto-banned by a whitelisting process that is currently in place. Honest (automated) mistake, but it still isn't open to the public so I understand why the system is in place.

However, MS has gone above and beyond here.

Major Nelson has talked with him personally. His console will be unlocked a day or two before general release, and he has contact information if that doesn't go as planned.

He is attending the MS launch event on their dime, and most likely will be showered with the usual launch-event gifts and nice-eties.

Target has apologized for selling him a device that doesn't yet work as intended, and has refunded him 100$ for the privilege.

I understand we can get into an argument about how your unit should or shouldn't work - but really - this guy did more than OK.

I really don't care for the fact that the article takes such a negative tone to what is really the story of a BigCorp (™) actually bending over backwards when they messed up.

Karl P

49
1

Google barge erection hypegasm latest - What's in the box?

karlp

Of course it could also be an offshore tidal powered datacenter with gimble-mounted active tracking microwave back hauls staffed completely by devs who banished by daring to bring an iDevice into work or install windows on their desktop.</sarcasm>

0
0
karlp

Re: Showroom?

Could be for Gapps.

There are many business deals closed on some sort of junket or another of increasingly dubious utility. Having a "sales-floor" in two large cities with fancy hotels and good food too which they could bring medium to large contract negotiations into might be useful to them. The fact that it could accomplish that while publicly steering clear from the appearance of outright pandering would just serve to help them in their "do less-ish evil" quest.

2
1

Moto X teardown shows US manufacturing adds mere $4 to handset costs

karlp

Supply Chain is the Key

I think the real key to asian assembly is the fact that the battery guy is next door, the fasteners two blocks over, pcb across the street, final assembler in the next town, etc etc etc.

It's very hard to practice just-in-time / lean manufacturing without (relatively) close proximity to the rest of your supply chain.

The fix to the supply chain issue is that someone just has to start making something somewhere and then other businesses will come in to support them.

Projects like these should be encouraged not just for the headlines of building something, but because they encourage investment in the greater supply chain capabilities of the given area.

2
1

Optical archival system - where to buy from?

karlp

While I understand the longevity concerns of Magnetic, the reality is that you have a much better chance of reading your LTO drives in 15 years than your niche optical drives.

I am aware of the sony product, and it is a good product. However I wouldn't recommend it too you. You really need to transfer your archive footage onto a new medium every 10~15 years anyways.

Use LTO and call it a day.

3
1

The future of cinema and TV: It’s game over for the hi-res hype

karlp
Stop

...... and you turned out to be wrong in your correction.

The digital sharing thing wasn't what some people made it out to be, but it was very cool, and was not, to be clear, a demo of any type.

While MS didn't respond as some may have hoped, the reality is that this topic is complicated and involves both technical and human (read: Contracts and agreements) angles.

While not perfect, MS seemed to have the best concept of a digital ecosystem I have yet seen. I and my friends preordered multiple consoles because of it. We are still debating whether we want them anymore.

We desperately hope they bring them back, and have reached out to number of senior MS execs to express that. Hopefully we will see a return at some point in the future, or at very least a better compromise.

Karl P

1
8

Samsung wins Apple MacBook contract, starts spitting out PCIe SSDs

karlp

We already know, 100$ cheaper than the last one.

Karl P

4
0
karlp
Go

Exit Strategies

I am sure that one or two of these companies could, by showing some initiative, take their experience working with accelerating certain workloads and turn it more into a consultancy gig where they help companies with general app acceleration and workload efficiency tuning.

That said, most of the these flash-repackagers+secret sauce would do well to start shopping their engineering talent to the same companies they have been buying the underlying dies from.

Flash is growing up awfully quick right now, hopefully most of these people can avoid being caught-out.

Karl P

0
0

BBC's Digital Moneypit Initiative known to be 'pile of dung' for years

karlp
Stop

An Important Consideration

I sometime play in this arena, and I want to add a few things before everyone piles on.

It's important to note that while, from what we read here, the project may seem to have been a bit overambitious, there is some precedent for this being a worthwhile, albeit expensive project.

There have been a few networks and large, geographically dispersed, production houses who have stepped up to get off of tape, get all of their assets digitized (within reason) and provide access to their data in practically all of their edit-bays and injest-points.

This is a hugely expensive thing to do. Think PB level's of SAN, MAID, metadata and asset management systems. Now think about linking that out at 4Gb or better speed to many dozens or even hundreds of geographically dispersed points.

It's a complicated project, but one that has been done, and has delivered substantial productivity benefits and even many cost benefits. (You would be quite shocked the price of a tape-based infrastructure. Everything from 50$ tapes that won't be reused to 50'000$ tape-decks that need considerable ongoing maintenance.)

Whether or not everyone needs access from everywhere is highly debatable, but by some measures it wouldn't be that difficult. All you need is a server hanging off the san, tied to the metadata and asset management databases with a web front-end and some custom software rendering the video down to h.264 streams in real time. Maybe use some heavy CUDA or something. Once you had the rest of the system functioning, this might be a not-that-big-of-a-deal bolt-on.

I'd be curious to know where they stand today. The project, from what I can surmise so far, is actually not only valid, but probably still needs to be done, albeit under much different direction.

Karl P

15
2

Dell crams baby small-biz data center into a tower chassis

karlp

Pricing

I would be shocked if even a basic two node config and 6 cheap spindles is less than 15K.

I would anticipate a mid 20's price, for basic normal configs, and maybe 30K with full compute nodes. Even then I am very interested.

The addition of a high speed shared storage subsystem could be a clincher here. I'm guessing this will be almost DAS performance in a shared subsystem, something you would need to spend big money on to get today in a true external shared storage system. The fact it will be limited to four compute nodes is acceptable, considering the workload I can accomplish with 8 sockets these days.

0
0
karlp

I love it.

While I do have concerns about chassis reliability and hopes for the availability of a spares kit, the raw idea I love. I hope they do well.

3
0

EFF files objections with W3C decrying addition of DRM to HTML5

karlp
Holmes

Re: In an ideal world...

I install locks on my doors.

They exist for no other reason than to keep the honest people out and enable me to get homeowners insurance.

They are also by many accounts an inconvenience; trying as I am to juggle for this and that while attempting to get the insufferable key to mate with the door.

Judging by the fact that I have been burgled before, I can say with some confidence that they do nothing against people who want to get in.

DRM is similar. It gives honest people pause and provides the basis for which content providers feel like some effort has been made.

It really isn't a lot more complicated than that.

I do still wish I lived in a world which didn't need locks, but that is a different issue altogether.

2
1

Adobe kills Creative Suite – all future features online only

karlp
Thumb Up

Re: What a huge fraud! Adobe worse than Electronic Arts (SimCity fraud)...

I am in the same boat as you, I have a client who is now licensed up on 4 or 5 (maybe more now) copies of creative cloud. They were moving off of one legit CS5 and a bunch of bootlegs. They couldn't justify frontloading 15'000$+ of adobe software. 200~300$ish a month is seen as an incredible bargain. I wouldn't be surprised if they end up with 10 or 15 seats when it is all said and done.

You guys gotta remember that adobe has never been the right company to do business with if you aren't in the business of making money with your tools. But if you are in that business - the subscription options are perfectly reasonable.

Because it has come up as a parallel, I also have a number of clients getting ready to go office 365 E3. The price hurts a bit, but nowhere near as much as front loading 500$+ per Office OpenLicense. Plus they get to get rid of their exchange servers (or google apps accounts) and their skype premium group-conference accounts (for lync). This is to say nothing of the support niceties you gain.

In most cases when we are doing an ROI on SaaS, we are seeing payback times at or over 3 years vs buying it ourselves. It would be stupid not to seriously consider that.

I understand that for home users there are different realities, and those may need to be addressed in better ways and/or at more flexible price points.

Do try and remember, for as many people as are here complaining about the SaaS movement, there are many, many more that are either indifferent or even in support of these changes.

7
3

Office for Mac 2008 support umbilical chopped off

karlp

However....

While the jury is still out on the general concept of leased software, the article and some of the comments are a bit off.

They aren't taking away the ability to purchase the current version of office (2011).

I am sure if you really need 2008, you can continue to get that under volume licensing as per usual, or ebay.

While it has some new (and some old) bugs still about, Office 2011 is _vastly_ faster, at least in my experience (100+ nodes of various apple machines).

On the subject of 365 - it gets you access to install more than one copy if your needs fall within the licensing TOS.

Additionally, it gets you outlook, which makes the comparison more like 200$+ vs 100$ a year. Finally, you do get access to one note and other services, albeit in their online versions.

While I am far from a Microsoft evangelist, there are plenty of things to be upset about without making up new ones.

Karl P

1
2

Amazon boss salvages Apollo engines from watery grave

karlp
Thumb Up

Re: Technical Matter

Indeed NASA are aware and in support of the matter.

In Jeff's Bezos blog on the matter (already linked in this conversation) he states the following:

"

Finally, I want to thank NASA. They extended every courtesy and every helping hand – all of NASA’s interactions were characterized by plain old common sense, something which we all know is impressive and uncommon. We're excited to be bringing a couple of your F-1s home.

"

While not an outright declaration of their blessing, it is obviously strongly inferred.

3
0

eBay: Our paid Google advertising was a total waste of money

karlp

Brands

It strikes me as a bit daft for eBay to broadcast their internal findings on this matter.

It doesn't surprise me at all if eBay has found paid ads don't bring much to the table. However that finding is going to be specific to their circumstances I would suspect. With a brand that is so strong, most people willing to deal in a non-retail environment will automatically think of them.

If they can cut the adspend and still make money - they do it. By by brining this up, all they do is state the obvious and potentially piss off Google*.

*And that is just bad for (any) business.

0
1

Backdoor root login found in Barracuda gear - and Barracuda is OK with this

karlp

Re: Security by obscurity

In my dealings with Barracuda they have always been forthcoming with the fact they hold their own login points. They are, after-all, a managed-solution appliance provider.

I can't remember the exact wording of their T&C's, but I believe it's in there already.

The fact they had thought to clamp down the IP range in the first place and are now pushing an update to help secure things a bit more is good.

I am not saying that their solution is appropriate for everyone in all fields, but their are many applications where this is perfectly acceptable.

Karl P

2
6

Raytheon to build low-orbit, disposable satellites for DARPA

karlp
Mushroom

Re: Apples and oranges..

There are actually loads of justifications I can think of.

I think the real point though is the one mentioned above.

The current network of observation satellites have no good way of getting data directly to the people who potentially have the most use of it.

Why not just make the current system do/support that? My guess is that they can't. The multi-billlion dollar spy sats that are up there right now seem, more or less, all or nothing affairs that are live all the time and designed to be directed and downlinked only from very limited locales. I would also be surprised if they had any sort of access control built in (AKA, there is a reasonable chance that they _can't_ black out something, aka they can be used to spy on anything that happens to be in their FOV).

In order to open up sat surveillance to a wider group it would seem that we need all sorts of things such as the ability to talk to multiple people simultaneously, to be able to be controlled from one location and video downlinked from many more. to have control over who can access it when, where it needs to black out, be cheap enough that no one is going to overly balk at a wider range of people operating it (no one wants a field grunt of any type to have control over something that costs billions with a b, it just won't happen), etc.

Once you get down into it, it probably makes sense for them to be different systems with different capabilities. If someone wants to say that it also gives the US a leg up on the Chinese sat-killing rockets, (put them up almost as fast as someone else can shoot them down), then all the merrier.

Just a WAG on my part, but one which feels something close to realistic.

Karl P

1
0

Time Warner Cable to Netflix: We want your 3D films, not your network

karlp
Holmes

Re: probably won't notice

I guess it really depends on how you go into it.

If you go in with a bullet point list of things you want to watch, you are going to be disappointed in any of the all-you-can-eat streaming providers (I am excluding Apple / Amazon here as most things are available through them, however it'll cost you dearly for any significant amount of content).

However if you go in expecting quality entertainment without pretext and are willing to experiment a bit, you will struggle to find enough to watch.

I dropped cable and picked up a unthrottled/uncapped commercial internet connection and both hulu/netflix maybe 6 months ago.

I don't watch the same shows anymore (or at least, very many of them) but at last count have over 500 episodes of content waiting to be watched, all of which is very, very good.

A different way of getting content (OTT/streaming/ondemand) also, at least for the moment, necessitates a different strategy for consuming content. If someone isn't prepared to make that leap, then they really shouldn't be dropping their cable/satellite connections.

Karl P

2
0

Here's a free tip, Cisco: DON'T buy NetApp unless you're crazy

karlp
Stop

Rackspace and Citrix....?

So you can kill one of the best hosting companies and one of the great remote access/vdi/hypervisor companies all at once?

Seriously, Rackspace is just wonderful as they are, and Citrix is really starting to become exciting again in their own right.

The only positive thing I could begin to think of about this room is "at least it's not Oracle".

Cisco should learn to be competitive again in their core competency. Seriously, these days Cisco is #3 or 4 on my switching provider list and # 5 or 6 on my WLAN provider list. About the only place I look at them seriously is in core routing, but even there I am now trending further rather than closer.

Get me excited about your products again. Make them excellent at a manageable price point. Wrap them in straight-forward services which are both comprehensive and fair.

Do all that and then maybe we could talk about new additions to your company.

3
0

Tor node admin raided by cops appeals for help with legal bills

karlp
Pirate

I don't find it unreasonable at all.

Some cheap insurance if you ask me.

Any person with a vague understanding of how the modern world works probably has one reason or another to have some sort of plan b.

I can't tell you the last time I used cash for a purchase, much less a major one, but yet I still keep a reasonable amount of Cash handy in the event that I were to ever need it.

In this day and age, when even having the same name as someone else who happened to do a bad thing can be enough to have accounts frozen and services suspended (by error of course, but inconvenient at the very least), I think it might actually be a good idea.

Certainly a much better investment than any number of other dubious "insurance" policies one might be offered in the course of life.

Upon reflection, I may even add a pre-paid to the insurance pile.

As my dad always says "Either be prepared, or hang around someone who is" (:

2
0

Why Google and Amazon could end up cooking their own chips

karlp
Stop

Re: Samsung - designed to fail.

Saying that Apple is using A9 cores is quite disingenuous is it not?

I could just as truthfully say that they are already using A15's.

In reality both, and neither, of those are true.

http://www.anandtech.com/show/6292/iphone-5-a6-not-a15-custom-core

In my world A15 shows interesting promise for certain computing workloads, but I can't help but feel that Apple did precisely the right thing by incorporating what is good about A9 and A15 in their own package that is laser focused on power efficiency and performance as hand in hand requirements.

My guess is that, at least for a time, others (including amazon) may decide they need the same design latitude in order to drive excellent user experiences.

3
0

Schmidt: Google deathmatch with Apple is 'defining' for the tech biz

karlp

Re: We think there should be more choice...

If your going to fault Apple for something, I don't know that I would start there. Not being able to set default apps as a general topic would be more appropriate, but then I understand where they are coming from by not doing so.

Maybe google should instead be required to open up (paid, licensed - of course) access to their raw vector data. Particularly seeing as that's why Apple had to leave in the first place.

0
0

Intel's chief chipman: '22nm better than expected, 14nm on track'

karlp
Coffee/keyboard

Re: Gullible hacks...

Because adding cores is only useful if you are running multi-threaded applications (many that you would think to use for casually judging performance aren't) or seriously multi-tasking.

Beyond 2 cores is really only useful to a group that while large in absolutely terms, is relatively quite small.

It's just the continuation of the GHz wars at some level.

1
0

Thomson joins vid-streamers' rush for MPEG-DASH

karlp

@Mad Hacker

You must be walking away from a lot of products then, Almost all of them, in fact.

Practically every streaming project I have worked on in the past two years involves transcoding into a variety of formats and resolutions. The only exception is when we are doing on the fly transcoding, but that is so proc intensive we only use that in special circumstances.

Hopefully that will change in the future. In fact, if we could only have a single format, I'd be happy to deal with the bitrates.

Alas, the world we live in is not (nor ever will be) perfect, and you do what you need to do.

Glad to hear we may begin to get some consensus on an HLS standard and a DRM package to go along with it. Sorely missing at the moment.

0
0

Video shows armed assault on Kim Dotcom family home

karlp
Devil

Don't think they did anything special for him.

This is just SOP for them.

I have a few acquaintances which have been privy to the exact same treatment for charges even more mundane than those above.

Whether it is excessive or not is besides the point, just wanting to make it clear that you could be Joe Schmo accused of a violation in not having proper paperwork to ship cardboard boxes internationally and would get very similar treatment.

The only difference here is in how publicized the case has become, which may ultimately become its undoing.

4
0

Apple misses earnings targets, Street reacts

karlp
Stop

I think the title needs to be fixed.

There is no need to further placate the "analysts". If you want to say they missed street numbers, thats fine, but stating analysts guidance numbers as if they are "real" when they have no real insight into the workings of the companies is wrong, potentially even misleading.

Also, when dealing with such a predictable product cycle as Apples, It would seem that YoY numbers are the ones to really pay attention to. In that light I think they did quite well.

11
0

Amazon cloud knocked out by violent storms in Virginia

karlp
Stop

There is nothing wrong here, from what I can tell a single availability zone went down.

AWS is designed in such a way that if availability isn't important, you can base your load in one local (in this case, N.Virginia). If you want more availability, use best practices and spread your loads around.

The real story is that these services still aren't properly able to cope with the conditions of the underlying infrastructure.

1
0

I need a New Laptop!!

karlp
Thumb Up

Macbook/Latitude

Take a look at a 15" macbook and either wipe and bootcamp, or perhaps partition and dual boot. They run win7 absolutely beautifully. Other than some issues with the express card port in the 17" version, they are perfect. I oversee dozens of them at this point.

On the other side, take a look at the dell latitude e6520. You can kit it out with SSD, i7's, up to a fullHD screen, etc.

No cheaper than the MBP however. You can buy a better warranty though..... However you may actually need it more often.....

0
0

Getting rich off iPhone apps is b*llocks, say UK devs

karlp
Facepalm

99p/c/etc?

I am assuming, potentially incorrectly, that the engineers in question are building something much more compelling than a fart app.

If so, 99p/c/etc is a terrible price point.

The only people playing down at that cesspool are doing so willingly.

While I must admit to having a few of these apps on my devices, in general terms the median cost of an app on my iDevice is probably approaching 8$ at this point.

The story here isn't people can't make money, its that people are failing business planning 101.

0
0

German scientists link two labs with ‘universal quantum network’

karlp
Boffin

Quantum Internet

You know what's going on every single one of my RFP's from here on out.

Quantum Internet.

0
0

Mobile net kingpins v the world: 'Why should we pay the 4G tab?'

karlp

Poor Signaling

Read "Poor Signaling" as in "Vastly more traffic that breaks our usage models". And I doubt they are only talking about Apple here.

While I am general sympathetic to the struggles of large infrastructure companies, this whole thing wreaks a bit to much for me.

Yes there were signaling issues, most of which would have been fixed in phones and base-station firmware updates by this point.

What has remained is an entirely new usage paradigm, absolutely decimating the old long-term growth trajectories.

This necessitates rapid, over-arching capacity buildout everywhere from the radios themselves and their density, to the frequencies allotted and backhaul provisioned.

While the carriers are working on dealing with these issues, they are also tasked with increasing revenue and profits for their shareholders. This has put them in the unenviable position of needing to maintain exceptionally high levels of CAPEX investments in a market which is mostly saturated and a client base which are already near the upper end of what they are willing to pay for the service.

The only place for these funds to come from at this points would be new revenue opportunities (such as selling content or acting as a payment provider) or to decrease costs they already have (say, lower wholesale costs on your popular smartphone de'jure, or maybe decrease the going rate of spectrum?)

What we are seeing here, I think, are vague plays towards all of the above.

Not saying any of it is right or wrong, but I do wish they would just outline what they see the real issues as, and what they would like to see as potential solutions for them.

Then we (as in anyone from governments to individuals, businesses to the telcos themselves) could have a meaningful discussion about the entire matter.

Karl P

1
0

Explicit pics of glorious rounded globes snapped in festive Saturnalia

karlp
FAIL

I'm quite worried that the reg is going soft....

There was certainly room to take a crack at getting celestial bodies into the headline, but you missed it.

May I request a rewrite?

Thanks, Karl

0
0

Netflix: How to completely screw up

karlp

To go all at once, or slowly bleed out?

It's simple really, and the fact so many people are up in arms about it mystifies me.

The management and board of Netflix took a look at the next two to three years and realized that the business wasn't going to be sustainable. Everything from postage rates, to disc acquisition, streaming, storage, and of course digital content acquisition. It's all going up. They had to come up with a new plan.

The plan they decided on (With access to way more information than us side-liners have, it must be noted) was to separate the streaming and physical sides of the business and price them according to their near-term realistic cost structures.

They knew this wasn't going to be popular, and the needed price hikes most certainly wouldn't be so they had a decision to make, either change it all at once - rip off the band-aid so to say, or bleed it over the period of a year or so. First new customers, then multi-dvd, then single dvd subs.

It's pretty obvious to both us and them that the price hikes would cause a reasonable drop in subscribers. Hopefully that would be counteracted by new subscribers, but nonetheless everyone had to know that it would happen.

It's important to stop for a moment and make one fact clear: at this moment Netflix has no valid, legal, competitor. While that may (and hopefully will) change over the next few years, the reality is that right now Netflix stands alone.

That last bit is important because if Netflix goes for the bleed out now, they run the risk of having a competitor for people to switch to later, whereas right now it's more or less an all-or-nothing approach.

Additionally, by finally doing it all at once they all but guaranteed any serious competitor will come in at the now-standard pricing (or even higher), and when doing deals the content owners will be expecting payments based on that cost structure.

Finally, after seeing just how severe the backlash was (more so than they anticipated would be my guess) they decided to go ahead and finish the plan, separate the businesses and start re-building.

They are neither short-sighted or stupid. It's a reasonable plan on their part and hopefully one which will work out well for them long term, albeit with a short term cost.

The pricing is still beyond fair, the selection is reasonable for the price, and they now can spend more time working on streaming content acquisition than physical aquisition.

Karl P

3
5

Apple's Tim Cook gets one million reasons to stay on as CEO

karlp
Stop

You're are missing the point.

This has nothing to do with giving Tim some huge allotment of money.

This doesn't even have anything to do with a performance bonus (although indirectly it does apply).

As the article and various of you all note, his regular compensation is fair enough already.

No, this is all about succession planning. The board wants to guarantee a stable leadership figure over at least the next 5, preferably 10, years. This is for both public image and shareholder confidence, as well as to bring up and train the next executive team in "the Apple way".

And for that, no amount of money would be too much. The fact that it is a relatively modest amount considering Apples profit, marketshare and "earnings potential" means that there are already other compensation plans underway.

Whether you agree with the Apple ethos or not doesn't matter. The fact remains it is one of the largest companies in the world. Successfully leading such a beast is not only terribly difficult, but deserves compensation commiserate with the responsibilities.

Karl P

1
0

LightSquared admits it will knock out 200,000 sat-navs

karlp
Devil

If lightsquared are right....

And it's an issue with radio filtering, which would make sense, the gps people are really in the wrong here.

Capable rf filtering is a well understood field, and the only reason transmissions which are that far out of band would be causing issues is if they were beig lazy and or ignoring it altogether.

If the FCC decides to shutdown lightsquared I would hope it's only because a large consortium of GPS manufacturers and users decide to reimburse lightsquared for all costs and further agree to license all bands which their designs fail to filter against heretoforth.

I'm goig to go out on a limb here though and guess between the military, FAA, and private industry sectors that lightsquare is going to get shafted, possibly without am admission of guilt on the gps side.

Karl P

1
0

Apple bars WinXP users from iCloud

karlp
Stop

The sparks are flying....

At least I think it is sparks because it seems you guys have one hell of an axe to grind against Apple righ now. I can respect if you guys don't agree with all of their decisions, but at the end of the day I can't escape the feeling you guys are being unrealistically hard of late. XP is three revisions back, and the better part of ten years old. If any company starts moving their newest features to a newer OS, I don't think any of us can blame them. Heck, Microsoft is the one who made xp and they are practically done with it. Lighten up the tone guys.

6
11

'Upgraded' Apple iMacs lock out hard drive replacement

karlp

*sigh* - Silly People

Reg: I don't care for the tone of this article. It's nothing but a cheap shot with no thought as to why this may have happened.

Let's look at this logically for a second.

1. It's an AIO. What goes on inside shouldn't concern you much (although how reliable it is as a whole should).

2. If you don't agree with #1 buy a Mac Pro, a linux, or win7 box. The iMac (and probably the portables) will not be for you.

3. Steve Jobs (or an SVP, etc) did not sit around some table musing about ways to screw people out of money and come up with fitting a custom HDD. Thats just silly.

4. What actually happened is engineers made a call that a more accurate HDD temp sensor system made a measurable impact in service life. (thus making the entire unit, which is what we are concerned about in an AIO, more reliable)

5. This is not about money to such a degree that they are actually spending more money to do this. (If it isn't a bog standard drive with bog standard cables/firmware, it is costing them more. Guaranteed.)

6. Someone somewhere along the way brought up the point that this would stop, or at least seriously hamper, customers from being able to pop the case and change the drive. - To that end they would have looked at overall statistics and realized that 90%+ of all users used External HDD's when it was time to upgrade, and also talked to applecare who said opening the machine voided the warranty. (whether they look the other way on a regular basis or not is a different matter).

7. Another reason I wouldn't get too hung up about it; Chances are very good that the rest of the line (With the exception of the MP, where this sort of thing actually matters to an appreciable percent of their customer base) is going this way as well. I anticipate a not-to-distant future where every part of the system is soldered down and compacted as much as is physically (as in, the laws of physics) possible. An upgrade will be changing the entire logic board.

7b (Edit). And you would be remiss if you don't think the general computer marketplace isn't looking at what Apple is doing here. Good bad or indifferent the sales figures and stock numbers are telling a story, and that is that people are willing to spend good money on highly integrated, non serviceable products. (assuming the support is there for when things go wrong). This is the biggest case for Thunderbolt in my mind. It gives us a good, fast, low level external I/O capable of real work. Allowing it to fail may doom us to a period of highly integrated, low or zero expansion systems with no high quality low level external I/O options.

8. Even if you don't agree with anything I said, within 16 months someone will have an elegant hack for it.

Calm down people, it's not that big of a deal. It's actually understandable, and if you look at it from a realistic viewpoint it is probably a reasonable decision.

Karl P

12
15

Sony says data for 25 million more customers stolen

karlp
Black Helicopters

"Main Credit Card Database"?

So.... how long until the announcement of a minor breach of the "Main Credit Card Database".

I wonder if they regret going after the PS3 hacker now....... Nah, they probably don't see these as even remotely related.

4
1

DIY crimekit brings advanced malware to Mac OSX

karlp
Badgers

And yet....

This isn't a "drive-by" attack, there is outright social engineering involved to get someone to run this app, and as we all know once you can convince a user to run a program, all bets are off.

Furthermore, once it is on a system, to remove it all you do is kill the task and delete the program right there in applications.

I have no doubt that something truly nasty for OSX is coming someday, but this still isn't it.

4
6

US legalizes jailbroken iPhones

karlp
Grenade

Calm down for one second.

Just remember, this is _ONLY_ for the actual legality of the cracking itself. This provides some safety to those writing and hosting the software used for these activities, but on the consumer side of things we still have the actual terms of service agreements and warranty provisions on the side of the carries and manufacturers respectively. Just because it is no longer illegal under the DCMA to crack under these specific circumstances doesn't change the fact that the contracts (can and do) still stipulate you may not unlock the phone (Carrier TOS/Contract) and that if you do you may be subject to actions against yourself (Carrier TOS/Contract) and your warranty on said devices will be gone (Manufacturer Eula/Warranty Provisions).

So while it isn't "illegal" anymore, it remains a clear breach of (legally binding) contract and both the carriers and manufacturers will continue to wield the same axes as before.

In fact I wouldn't be surprised if we see a them sharpening those axes a little more now. From a manufacturers standpoint, "kill switches" like the new Droid has may begin to make more sense and thus become far more common place now that they have lost the "legal" channel over which they could go after the people making the cracking software. If they can't deal with the issue at the high level, it may make sense to enforce it at a more general, user level.

I hope I am wrong, but I just can't help but feel the EFF has once again done a single right that will result in a greater wrong.

Karl P

3
6

Opera plays chicken with Apple iPhone police

karlp

Is Required

While not a fanboy, I generally understand Apple's position from a business aspect, and from that angle I can understand why the no execution thing is in place.

In this particular case however I have to agree that Opera is on to something. What they are doing is not appreciably different than numerous apps that are already in the store.

While the Apple brand can afford a lot of the press that presents itself from some of the app store opportunities that have/will arise, it would be incredibly short sighted for them to deny this app.

However, if it is anything like mini on the numerous other platforms I have used, I don't believe it will gain much traction, it just isn't that good of an app in comparison to TouchOS-Safari. Maybe the new V is substantially better?

1
0